Board of Directors

The INA Board of Directors consists of nannies, newborn care specialists, educators, agency owners, parents and industry service experts.

As a not-for-profit organization, the INA members choose their Board Members annually. The INA Board is then tasked with making decisions that will benefit our association while being mindful of the individual interests of our members as well as the entire industry.

It is our goal to continually strive to create a team that represents the entire industry. However, we are dependent on those within our community to step up and help us lead. We encourage those who want to make a difference to consider nomination to the INA Board of Directors. Check out our Nomination qualifications and process. 

Service on the Board of Directors is not the only way you can have a voice and be involved. We encourage feedback through our Board Meetings, our Members Facebook Group, and via email to You can even submit an official proposal to the INA Board on a new idea or project for them to consider. Simply fill out the Proposal Template and submit it to the INA Secretary 2 weeks before their next Board of Directors Meeting.

We also encourage you to join a committee and be apart of a growing community of professionals. Find the list of Committee Chairs and a description of our committees.

The INA Board has developed Association Stratigic Goals for the 2022-2023 Fiscal Year. 


  • Growth in Membership: Increasing Membership by 15% with a focus on growth of underrepresented and international populations in our industry.
  • Growth in Resources: Delivering the expert content we have to the community through increasing attendance to Webinars, use of our Basic Skills Assessments, the downloads of our FAQ Sheets by 15%.
  • Growth in our Roots and Branches: Improve the structure of the organization and educate our membership on how our programs work with 5 fun media content about our internal processes.

2020-2021 Board of Directors

laura schroeder

Laura R. Schroeder

Co- President

Laura R. Schroeder – (Charleston, South Carolina) Laura has been working with children for her entire career, but found her true calling as a nanny after giving birth to her own 3 precious children . Laura is an INA credentialed nanny currently working with a HNW family in historic Charleston, SC. She is certified in Connection Centered Discipline and is a Positive Discipline Parent Educator. She has also taken Newborn Care Specialist and ABA training, and has been a long time member of NAEYC and NDWA.. Laura founded the popular Charleston Area Nanny Network with over 11.5k members in 2013 and is very active in the nanny community in her area to this day. One of her greatest honors was being named a nominee for the 2017 INA Nanny of the Year. Laura has been happily married to her best friend for 35 years and loves living near Folly Beach, SC. She has been an INA member since 2014, an INA board member since 2017, and has served as INA President since March, 2019.

helen mccarthy

Helen MCCarthy


Helen McCarthy – (London, United Kingdom) Helen is a Professional Qualified British Nanny (N.N.E.B) with over 28 years experience as a Nanny, NCS, Childcare Consultant and has worked in Europe, Asia, USA, UAE and the UK. Helen has devoted her career to the care of children at all stages of life, with all levels of needs. Over the course of the past 19 years, Helen has developed an exclusive focus on caring for new-borns. As one of the pre-eminent NCS’s, she has amassed a deep understanding of the needs and development of newborns including premature infants, twins, triplets, and babies with allergies. 2015 saw Helen returning to nannying after attending Nannypalooza which inspired her to become a member of the INA. Helen was named INA 2016 Nanny of the year which saw her travel to Australia where she spoke at Nannypalooza OZ and being featured in the Financial Times Documentary on the new Upstairs Downstairs. Helen’s passion for educating Nannies to the highest level has seen the launch of UK Nanny, Ltd., the only events company for Nannies. Helen has been an INA Member since 2015 and joined the Board in 2018. Please see the Committee Appointments list for a list of committees for which Helen is the chair.

sue downey

Sue Downey

Vice President

Sue Downey (Norristown, Pennsylvania)  Sue is a nanny and has been since she accidentally found the profession 25 years ago. She started as a live-out nanny for 4 boys in Cincinnati, Ohio and then moved on to the Philadelphia area as a live-in nanny. She has stayed in the suburbs of Philly ever since. Since she tends to stay with families for longer contracts, Sue has also worked as a family assistant, helping families with remodeling, cooking, organization and more. In her spare time, Sue works on a few nanny projects such as the conference Nannypalooza, interNational Nanny Training Day and one of the founders of Our Nanny Diary. She has led workshops at the INA conference, NAEYC conference, Nannypalooza as well as local and regional gatherings. Sue’s full-time job is caring for a family just outside Philadelphia, where she spends her days trying to not step on legos, playing dragons, and reading the same book over and over and over again and loving every minute of it all! Please see the Committee Appointments list for a list of committees for which Sue is the chair.

rachel lawrence

Rachel Lawrence


Rachel Lawrence: (Eugene, Oregon) Rachel is a proud mother of three young children, including a set of twins, and has a solid 15 year foundation in the in-home childcare industry. She has worked as a nanny, a placement counselor, has operated her own boutique nanny placement agency, and as a working mom, she is also a nanny employer. Rachel has previously served as a Board of Directors member, and as the Operations Manager for the International Nanny Association. She is now the Agency Partner Specialist at HomeWork Solutions; advising nannies, families, and agencies on HR, taxes, and the importance of legal pay. She is the founder of, a coalition designed to raise awareness about the need for legal pay in the industry, and to empower individuals to educate others about why it is so important.

ruka curate

Ruka Curate


Ruka Curate –  (Brooklyn, New York) Ruka is the woman behind Tiny Treasures Nanny Agency and she knows just how important having a connection is when pairing a nanny with a family. Finding the perfect fit not only gives parents peace of mind but provides a stable and enriched environment for children in the childminder’s care. It is also very important that the childcare providers that she matches feel like they are valued and working with a great family. Ruka is a strong advocate of legal pay for nannies, educating her clients to understand protective classes and hire without discrimination. A nanny herself for over 14 years, now that Ruka is ‘Mom’ to a beautiful little girl, she has an even deeper understanding of how important it is to create these almost perfect matches. With insight on both sides, she has been successfully connecting families with nannies, mannies and babysitters for a very long time. When she is not playing matchmaker to parents and nannies in NYC, Ruka is always looking for more time to studying neuroscience at NYU’s Center for Neuroscience and Hunter College Psychology Department. Her current area of study is adolescent and anxiety-related behaviors due to stress in females. Please see the Committee Appointments list for a list of committees for which Ruka is the chair.

jennifer hough

Jennifer Hough


Jennifer Hough: (Peabody, Massachusetts) Jenn has over 8 years of nanny experience in the North Shore of Boston working with children from birth to 14 years of age. She specializes in caring for children with different developmental needs. Jenn holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science from Salem State University and is a passionate nanny advocate. Additionally, Jennifer is a Newborn Care Specialist, CPST, Fertility, Birth, and Postpartum Doula in training, and an active member of the local nanny community! Please see the Committee Appointments list for a list of committees for which Ruka is the chair.

austin macfarlane

Austin Macfarlane


Austin Macfarlane: (Raleigh, North Carolina) Austin is a dedicated, loving, passionate professional who really focuses on getting involved in projects she cares about- because as an enneagram 3, her work oftentimes becomes her life. She lives by the saying “love what you do, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Over the last 10 years she launched My Girl Friday in the Triangle area of North Carolina and helped launch Tribucha Kombucha, a kombucha brewery out of Cary, North Carolina. She has raised over $2.1m in funding in her career and co-manages teams of over 20 human beings, placing a high emphasis on company culture and health and wellness. She enjoys working with her Nanny Relief Fund team and loves nonprofit life- though it’s exhausting.

In her spare time, she loves to hike, surf, kayak, and go sailing. She can oftentimes be seen throwing the ball for her pup, Arlo. She loves to garden and cook with her veggies and herbs. She appreciates the meditative nature of cooking intricate meals and can oftentimes be found in the kitchen making amazing dishes from scratch. She’s addicted to Audible and loves a good book and she just recently got into Clubhouse! Please see the Committee Appointments list for a list of committees for which Ruka is the chair.

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Cate Matijevich


Cate Matijevich – (Bolingbrook, Illinois) Cate from Chicago, Illinois has worked in the domestic private service industry for over 15 years. Being a nanny and managing principal’s homes is her passion and brings joy beyond what she ever thought was possible. Cate is an avid learner always seeking the best solutions for children and their families. She enjoys staying current with childrearing trends and ongoing professional development trainings. Continuing education is a priority for Cate and she currently attends Florida International University, pursuing her degree in Hospitality Management with a focus in HR and Leadership. 


Cate actively participates in events that support the nanny and greater domestic private service industry, including traveling internationally for conferences and events. Her desire to strengthen and grow industry relationships globally, is a proud goal. Cate also directs an Estate Management group that meets monthly to network and continue education. 


Recreationally, Cate loves to golf and spend time outdoors with her partner, John, and their three pups. Cate is proudly involved in her local community and volunteers with the village on ad hoc committees and serves as Secretary on her HOA board of directors. 


While Cate is always on-the-go, her peers will also say that she makes time for all things important to her, and fulfills her commitments with the utmost pride and diligence. 

Please see the Committee Appointments list for a list of committees for which Ruka is the chair.

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Takita Tunstall


Takita Tunstall – (Dundalk, Maryland) Takita has been a Nanny since 2018 and Babysitter since she was 15 years old in Baltimore, MD. Not forgetting to mention being the eldest of 6 and a mom of two, she has also worked as a school teacher and at a children’s hospital; both of which allowed her the opportunity to network with the Autism community. Currently, in addition to balancing being a Mom and a Nanny, Takita also owns and operates her own Nanny Agency. Clearly she is no stranger to hard work; not even in back when she worked in retail for nearly 10 years! From Retail to Business Owner! Takita has quite the adventurous tale to share with the world about her journey and we are definitely looking forward to hearing it once she finds the right platform to share it on.

Please see the Committee Appointments list for a list of committees for which Ruka is the chair.